Hurray, A Real Epidemic At Last

After all these fake epidemics of tobacco and alcohol and obesity, it’s almost refreshing to see a proper viral epidemic scything people down.

Unfortunately, the World Health Organisation doesn’t seem to be handling it too well.

Ebola outbreak: We’re heading towards a catastrophe, warns top medic

We are heading towards pending ‘catastrophe’ after ‘woefully inadequate’ response, warns head of the World Health Organisation

The health chief leading the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has warned it was spiralling out of control towards a “catastrophic” epidemic that could engulf the region.

Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation, said the response to the disease had been “woefully inadequate” and it was “moving faster than our efforts to control it”.

Her warnings – the starkest to date – were delivered to the leaders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as they held a crisis summit to discuss how to curb the crisis, which has now claimed at least 729 lives.

Ebola seems to be something of a neglected disease. There’s no vaccine.

The sporadic nature of the disease and the fact that it survives in bats between outbreaks makes it harder to come up with vaccines and cures, but the fact that it is exclusively a disease of sub-Saharan Africa means that the urge even to try has been disgracefully lacking in the West.

Which shouldn’t be too surprising when the WHO has its focus on important things like the tobacco epidemic and the alcohol epidemic and the supersized-food-driven obesity epidemic.

Could the ebola epidemic break out of sub-saharan Africa, and spread around the world? We’ll soon find out. But medical opinion seems to be that it’s unlikely to do so because simple measures like washing hands will be enough to destroy the virus. And everyone is always washing their hands in the developed world, aren’t they?

A sickness and vomiting bug has hit the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village just days before the event kicks off.

“Workforce should notify their manager and avoid coming into work. If symptoms appear while on shift, workforce should contact their supervisor. Please remind your teams about adopting good practice in the use of regular hand-washing and sanitiser.” (emphasis added)

And anyway, at least top medic Margaret Chan seems to have got her priorities right:

WHO Director-General considers the tobacco endgame

Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization
Keynote address at the International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: the Endgame for Tobacco
New Delhi, India
11 September 2013

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About Frank Davis

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38 Responses to Hurray, A Real Epidemic At Last

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    You can be sure of one thing Frank, this Ebola epidemic will make the WHO’s big pharma friends an absolute ton of money, remember the Tamiflu episode? They made a whole heap out of the UK as they stockpiled it spending £473m on it. Only to find that it worked no better than good ‘ol paracetamol lol. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26954482

    • carol2000 says:

      Maybe they should try something else, such as antibiotics, which “as we all know” don’t work on viruses (sic). Clarithromycin inhibits type A seasonal influenza virus infection in human airway epithelial cells. M Yamaya, K Shinya, Y Hatachi, H Kubo, M Asada, H Yasuda, H Nishimura, R Nagatomi. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2010 Apr;333(1):81-90. “Human influenza viruses attach to sialic acid with an α2,6linkage (SAα2,6Gal) on the airway epithelial cells, and the entry of the viruses into the cells and uncoating of the viruses require low pH of endosomes.” In cultured human tracheal epithelial cells infected with type A influenza virus (H3N2), “Influenza virus infection increased viral titers and the content of cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6, in supernatant fluids, and viral RNA in the cells. Clarithromycin reduced viral titers and the content of cytokines in supernatant fluids, viral RNA in the cells, and the susceptibility to virus infection. Clarithromycin reduced the expression of SAα2,6Gal, a receptor for human influenza virus, on the mucosal surface of human tracheae, and the number and fluorescence intensity of acidic endosomes in the cells from which viral ribonucleoproteins enter into the cytoplasm. Furthermore, clarithromycin reduced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) proteins, including p50 and p65, in the nuclear extracts.”
      http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/333/1/81.long

    • beobrigitte says:

      Tamiflu… I do remember being “nudged” to get this vaccine – and replied: ” Naaawww, I go for a few extra cigarettes instead. After all, if smoking kills someone my size, it’ll kill the little buggers the minute I light up.”

      That left them NO anwer to give.

  2. mikef317 says:

    Totally off topic. Harley commented on this at the end of the previous post. I want to make sure it gets the attention I think it deserves.

    It’s really odd for me to recommend reading something by Stanton Glantz, but….

    http://tobacco.ucsf.edu/white-house-omb-ponders-whether-smoking-might-be-worth-it-after-all-tobacco-teachings-smoke

    Senior members of the U. S. government at the Food And Drug Administration and the White House Office Of Management And Budget have apparently gotten the utterly insane idea that people smoke because there are benefits to smoking. (!) Think cost / benefit analysis. Lung cancer and every other disease you’ve ever heard of vs the “loss of pleasure” from not using tobacco products. (!)

    This is driving poor Stanton nuts. (Fine by me!)

    I wonder what, if anything, will happen next.

    At any rate, something interesting appears to be going on in the U. S. government.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Yep something is going on for sure…………….

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Funny thing is the government has to find a nice comfy saving face way of getting out of the anti-tobacco business before it completely blows up in their faces……………

        • carol2000 says:

          As long as almost nobody is attacking their scientific fraud, there isn’t a snowflake’s chance in hell of anti-smoking blowing up in anybody’s face.

    • carol2000 says:

      It doesn’t deserve any attention. They’re just being drama queens, as usual. And there’s no link to any source for their babblings.

    • beobrigitte says:

      It is worth remembering that White House review of agencies’ rules, including the FDA’s rule on tobacco products, takes place at the direction of President Obama. Maybe someone should ask him if the FDA/White House analysis of the balance between lost pleasure and lost health and life is sensible. I very much doubt this is how he advises his daughters when it comes to tobacco use: it may be good, it may be bad, it’s a close case, you make the call. If this isn’t what he says in private, perhaps it isn’t what the FDA and OMB should suggest in public.

      First guess is: money is tight. And the anti-smokers are being side lined, responding with “the poooooooooor chiiiiiiildren” again.

      Perhaps the anti-smoking zealots forgot one thing: at the age of 18 you are classed as AN ADULT. With that:
      I very much doubt this is how he advises his daughters when it comes to tobacco use: it may be good, it may be bad, it’s a close case, you make the call.

      I went a step further. I actually said to each of my offspring on their 18th birthday:
      “By law you ARE an adult now. Everything you do is YOUR CALL.”

      That reminds me, how come American kids can drive a car at 17 but can’t buy a drink at 18?

  3. Last I heard, there are less than 500 dead. Hardly “The great plaguse” I would have thought.

    • Tom says:

      This article needs to get emailed to every hospital in the US and UK, demanding they immediately get rid of all smoking bans on hospital grounds and in order to prevent a major ebola epidemic, smoking be not only permitted, but ENCOURAGED – or else these hospitals will have to face the financial consequences of what their smoking bans will have caused, if any patients, disallowed from smoking per hospital bans, end up catching ebola as a result – that the lawsuits on this smoke banning hospitals will be large and plenty.

      • Rose says:

        It’s not the tobacco it’s the anti-bodies they engineer it to make.

        There was a lot of fuss about genetically modifying plants in the food chain like rice to make vaccines and drugs, tobacco is considered not to be in the food chain.

        “Tobacco plants plus antibodies equal possible treatment for Ebola
        2013

        “Kentucky BioProcessing in Owensboro, Kentucky makes MB-003 using tobacco plants. The plants are genetically engineered to produce “humanized” versions of the antibodies. “It creates a green juice and we purify the antibody from it,” Pettitt says. “It is a much cheaper and quicker way to produce the antibody.”

        “Our facility can produce these proteins in two weeks at a substantial reduction in cost to other production methods,” says Barry Bratcher, the company’s chief operating officer. “This advanced method of manufacturing allows us to address needs quickly and inexpensively.”
        http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/tobacco-plants-plus-antibodies-equal-possible-treatment-ebola-f6C10963179

        They’ve been at it for over twenty years, apparently starting at about the same time that the anti-smoking campaigns really intensified.

        Tobacco promises hope in HIV Aids research
        2011

        “The EMR team, led by Dr Chris Atkinson, and Professor Julian Ma, of St George’s, University of London, are looking at ways to use the plants to produce large quantities of a drug known to block HIV infection.”

        “Tobacco is an ideal non-food crop for this research, thanks to the speed it grows and matures and our deep knowledge of its physiology and transformability, which has been the focus of scientific attention for more than 20 years.”
        http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/tobacco-promises-hope-in-hiv-aid-a69031/

        Thanks to the tobacco plants capacity to make suckers and regrow itself, they can mow it much like grass.

        Biofuel

        “Tobacco, a high-density crop which is mown several times throughout its cycle, can produce as much as 160 tonnes of fresh matter per hectare”
        http: //www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414092002.htm

    • beobrigitte says:

      biodefense researchers are especially worried about viruses like Ebola that are capable of “jumping species” from non-human primates like chimpanzees to human beings.

      Deadly, virulent viruses have jumped species three times – the SIV virus that almost certainly led to the worldwide AIDS pandemic; the SV-40 “cancer” virus that was accidentally included in polio vaccines in the 1950s; and the deadly Ebola virus.
      Researchers are also looking at the remote possibility some day of a fourth instance of species jump: simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV), which is either more deadly and untreatable than Ebola, or the key to unlocking cures for such species-jumping viruses.

      There will be more of these to come. Micro-organisms replicate is a fraction of time we do.

      It’s not the tobacco it’s the anti-bodies they engineer it to make.
      Indeed, the tobacco plant is an ideal “host” for “foreign DNA” – it is relatively slow in “kicking out” inserted DNA sequences. On top of that, it is a hardy plant.

      We have one problem, though.
      A cocktail of antibodies cooked up in tobacco plants may provide an emergency treatment for Ebola virus, one of the deadliest viruses known, researchers reported Wednesday.

      Antibiotics do not work for killing virae. Never has and never will.

  4. jaxthefirst says:

    Maybe – just maybe – Government and local States’ bean-counters have, in the light of the ongoing financial pressures, finally woken up to the fact that pouring ever-more money into what is now, comparatively speaking, a fairly small number of smokers is – errr – something of a waste of money. Who knows? They might just have realised that they’ve done just about as much as they can in terms of forcing people to quit or scaring people away from starting. Those smokers who remain are now pretty much immune to all the scaremongering, and those people who are starting are the kind of people who are always going to do whatever they’re forbidden from doing. Thus, their tactics have already “worked” on those people for whom they were going to work, and they are now actually proving counter productive towards those people for whom they don’t work.

    Which leaves the likes of Glantz etc with something of a quandary. Do they now reverse their previous tactics (e.g. start acknowledging the health benefits of smoking, start encouraging tolerance towards smokers, start telling young people that it’s OK for them to make their own minds up about smoking), in order to try – reverse-psychology-style – to “scoop up” the last few smokers or potential future smokers, but by doing so possibly lose some of their “gains” through ex-smokers returning to smoking and some people who would otherwise have remained too scared to try, starting the habit; or do they stick with the same tactics that they’ve always been using, and accept that these tactics are actually encouraging a hard-core of smokers and future smokers who are immune to those tactics? They’re in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” scenario entirely of their own making. Which is just about all they deserve, in my books!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Jax I think they’ve been lying all along about the numbers of quitters and the lowered numbers of smokers. I don’t think its hardly dropped at all. In fact ive read the largest group of new smokers is ex-smokers starting back up again. Tobacco being as demonized and lied about in every scope of context its easy to say they lied about everything.

      I think in the end its the Bean counters that said look your broke and your best source of revenue is tobacco. Now quit wasting money on BULL SHIT so called health saving that are total BS and get back to whats going to save your ass from going bankrupt like a 3rd world nation…………

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Besides I saw a calif democrat of 20 plus years in the congress say well if im back in November we can discuss further VA benefits………………….. When we look around the globe the nanny Nazis are getting their asses handed to them by the voters.

  5. c777 says:

    I suppose they could have ground the Tamiflu up and used it in Chinese cooking?

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    California Democrats accepting more campaign cash from tobacco industry

    By Laurel Rosenhall
    Published: Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 – 10:40 pm

    Democrats in the California Capitol have become increasingly willing in recent years to take money from cigarette companies, a source of campaign funding that was once so controversial it remains shunned by their state party organization.

    Donations from the nation’s two major cigarette companies to Democratic candidates for the Legislature and other California offices more than quadrupled over the last five years, a Sacramento Bee analysis of campaign finance data shows.

    In 2009, Altria and R.J. Reynolds gave $43,300 to Democrats, 14.7 percent of the money they put into the campaign accounts of California politicians. Last year, they contributed $196,100 to Democrats, 46.6 percent of the money the industry gave to all state candidates.

    The shift came as the Legislature, dominated by Democrats, quietly rejected several bills aimed at reducing smoking and the illnesses that come with it. Legislation to ban smoking on public school campuses, in apartment buildings, and at state parks and beaches withered in committee. Proposals to raise taxes on cigarettes went nowhere. One bill to limit Internet sales of electronic cigarettes was shelved, while another originally meant to restrict use of electronic cigarettes was rewritten to allow them to be sold from vending machines in bars.

    Anti-cancer advocates say it’s no coincidence that tobacco-control policies are stalling as Democrats accept more of the industry’s money.

    “There was a time when tobacco money was radioactive, but over the years it has become acceptable,” said Jim Knox, vice president of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

    The Legislature’s lack of action on many anti-smoking measures, he said, “correlates with an increasing trend to accept contributions from tobacco companies.”

    Tobacco stigma lifting?

    The tobacco industry, which expanded in recent years to include vapor-filled electronic cigarette brands, has long been a big political spender. Altria and R.J. Reynolds together put more than $127 million into California politics since 2000, much of it to fight ballot measures to raise taxes on cigarettes or to committees that mount campaigns independent from specific candidates.

    The cigarette companies declined to answer questions about how they target political contributions or why donations to California Democrats are on the rise. Altria spokesman David Sutton touted his company’s record of disclosure, pointing to a Web page that lists its political spending in every state.

    Republicans received most of the $4.9 million the two cigarette companies have given directly to candidates for the Legislature and other California offices since 2000. Every sitting Republican state legislator received campaign money directly from Altria and R.J. Reynolds. The companies also gave $3.9 million since 2000 to the California Republican Party.

    But for the Democrats who rule the Capitol – they hold majorities in both houses of the Legislature and occupy every constitutional office – accepting tobacco money remains controversial. Some say they shouldn’t affiliate with an industry that has a history of lying about the health dangers of smoking while marketing their products to children and the poor.

    The California Democratic Party does not accept donations from cigarette-makers because, spokesman Tenoch Flores said, tobacco companies “do not reflect our values.”

    Others, however, say tobacco money doesn’t carry the stain it once did because today’s political landscape is so flooded with corporate cash.

    “I just don’t think it’s an issue with the electorate anymore,” said Richie Ross, a political consultant who worked on campaigns for some of the Democratic legislators who accept tobacco contributions. “So when the voters move on, I move on.”

    The California Democrats who have accepted the most money from the cigarette companies in recent years are Gov. Jerry Brown, who has taken $55,500 from them since 2009, and Assemblyman John A. Pérez, who was speaker of the lower house until this spring and received $95,600 from the cigarette-makers over the last five years.

    The acceptance of tobacco money by such prominent Democrats likely caused others in their party to do the same, said Stanton Glantz, a medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who heads the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

    “If you had to pick one reason (for the increase), I think it’s the governor, the bad example he’s setting,” Glantz said. “The message that sends to everybody else is that it’s OK.”

    Glantz criticizes Brown not only for taking the money but also for vetoing a bill in 2012 that sought to ban smoking in nursing homes.

    “While health and safety considerations must prevail, to the extent a resident’s preferences can be accommodated, they should,” Brown wrote in vetoing Assembly Bill 217. “Allowing an elderly resident, who can’t go home and who has smoked for a lifetime, to smoke in a designated indoor area during inclement weather – this sounds reasonable to me.”

    California’s last Democratic governor, Gray Davis, was a prolific fundraiser but didn’t take any money from tobacco companies. He sued the cigarette-makers in the 1990s, joining other states seeking payment for government costs of tobacco-related illnesses. After spending more than a year in negotiations to reach a $206 billion nationwide settlement with the tobacco industry in 1998, Davis said he couldn’t imagine taking their money for his political campaigns.

    “I was delighted that the state benefited from an appropriate settlement. So I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to turn around and put my hand out,” he said.

    Brown’s political spokesman Dan Newman would not explain the governor’s decision to accept tobacco contributions, saying only that he discloses all campaign donations as required by state law. Brown is running for an unprecedented fourth term this year against long-shot Republican candidate Neel Kashkari, and is well ahead of Kashkari in both fundraising and public opinion polls.

    Doug Herman, a campaign consultant to Pérez, said the former speaker accepts tobacco money to help advance the Democrats’ agenda.

    “He’s taking their money and using it against them to (win) the supermajority and get good Democrats elected,” Herman said.

    Democrats weaken bills

    Democratic political strategist Garry South said it’s “unseemly” for Brown and Pérez to take money from an industry “that’s killing people.”

    “It’s simply baffling to me why Democrats in California would accept campaign contributions from Big Tobacco,” South said.

    “We have the second-lowest smoking rate of any state, and it’s going down. … We don’t grow tobacco here so there are no farmers to protect. There are no cigarette factories here so there are no jobs or workers to protect. … So what exactly are the interests in California that politicians can protect?”

    He said the tobacco companies, long aligned with Republicans, are understandably responding to California’s overwhelmingly Democratic political climate.

    “They’ve shifted their whole strategy to try to buy off Democrats,” South said. “But is that the right thing for Democrats to do, to take their money? My argument is no. It’s galling to me.”

    Other Democrats who have accepted more than $20,000 in tobacco money in recent years include Sens. Rod Wright and Cathleen Galgiani, as well as Assemblymen Isadore Hall, Adam Gray, Steven Bradford and Henry Perea. All of them represent districts with high poverty – Wright, Hall and Bradford in urban Los Angeles and Galgiani, Gray and Perea in the Central Valley. Smoking is more prevalent in poor communities – nearly 28 percent of adults who live below the poverty line smoke, compared with 17 percent of adults who are at or above it, according to data from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Ross, who has worked on campaigns for Galgiani, Perea and Gray, said voters in impoverished areas have “more immediate and pressing concerns” than scrutinizing who’s funding political campaigns.

    “People are trying to keep the lights on,” Ross said. “It’s like, ‘I don’t have time to worry about that. I’ve got people selling heroin down the street. I really don’t care about someone selling cigarettes down the street.’”

    Hall, who chairs the committee that oversees alcohol and tobacco laws, wrote a bill Brown signed last year to prohibit smoking in foster homes. This year, he is carrying a bill to ban smoking in homes used as child care businesses. But many of the most significant anti-smoking measures died or were watered down in the influential committee Hall oversees.

    A bill last year to ban smoking on state beaches died in Hall’s committee when six Democrats opposed it or did not cast votes. Five of the six have reported campaign contributions from cigarette companies.

    A bill this year to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in the same places traditional cigarettes are banned was rewritten in Hall’s committee to focus solely on the sale of e-cigarettes in vending machines. Senate Bill 648 now says the vapor-filled devices cannot be sold in vending machines, except those inside bars.

    Sen. Ellen Corbett, who wrote the bill to prohibit e-cigarettes in the same places traditional cigarettes are banned, said she watered down the bill because it was the only way to get it through Hall’s committee.

    “I am very committed to making sure that we keep e-cigarettes out of minors’ hands because I am concerned about the health impacts on young people,” said Corbett, a San Leandro Democrat. “This was just my opportunity to try to move the ball further. Not as far as I wanted to, but to in some way protect minors.”

    Hall did not return calls from The Bee.

    Democratic political consultants David Townsend and Steve Maviglio said political donations from cigarette companies remain a sensitive issue for many Democratic voters.

    “I don’t think it’s more acceptable,” Townsend said. “In Democratic primaries in particular, I think it can be damaging.”

    Maviglio used an opponent’s ties to cigarette companies to attack a fellow Democrat during the June primary. The candidate, Steve Glazer, did not take any money from tobacco companies in his run to represent the East Bay suburbs in the Assembly. But he once worked as a political consultant for the California Chamber of Commerce, which takes money from many big companies, including those that make cigarettes.

    Maviglio, working for the labor unions that backed Democrat Tim Sbranti, helped craft a series of mailers that attacked Glazer for his ties to Big Tobacco. One of them looked like a huge pack of cigarettes with a warning label featuring Glazer’s name and face.

    Glazer lost to Sbranti, and Maviglio gives some credit to the tobacco-themed attacks.

    “We did post-election surveys and found that it was very important for a lot of voters,” Maviglio said.

    Herman, the Democratic consultant to Pérez, has a different view, arguing that voters are already cynical about the enormous role interest groups play in funding campaigns. Unions and businesses can mount unlimited independent campaigns, and political donations frequently pass through committees with vague and confusing names before they reach the candidate they benefit, making it hard for the public to track campaign finance.

    “They’ve all become a little numb,” Herman said.

    Altria has a large lobbying presence in Sacramento. It has contracts with four lobbying firms and spent $841,140 lobbying at the California Capitol last year, disclosure reports show. The main firm that represents the company, Lang, Hansen, O’Malley and Miller, makes more money from Altria than any other client. It’s not uncommon to see partner Joe Lang – widely regarded as one of the most influential lobbyists in town – smoking on the patio outside his office, directly across the street from the Capitol.

    Like many wealthy interest groups, tobacco companies use multiple means to influence decisions in the Capitol. R.J. Reynolds, for example, paid for 5 percent of the cost of the back-to-session bash in January. The glitzy, $100,000 party several lobbying groups threw for legislators and their staff featured a live performance by the rapper Coolio, cocktails flowing out of ice sculptures and a cigar cabana in the courtyard where guests could choose from a variety of smokes.

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/01/lawmakers-party-with-coolio-at-back-to-session-bash.html

    Knox, the anti-cancer lobbyist, is trying a new tactic to counter tobacco companies’ influence in California. He’s asking all legislative and state office candidates to refuse tobacco money, and has vowed to publicly call out those who take tobacco money in the run-up to the November election.

    The first candidate to sign Knox’s pledge, he said, was Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who earlier this year rejected a $1,500 contribution from R.J. Reynolds. The company sent the check, Gatto said, so that its Sacramento lobbyist could attend a lunchtime fundraiser with him at Chops.

    “Please thank him politely, but do not accept that check,” Gatto wrote in an April email to his campaign fundraiser.

    Gatto said he has a longstanding policy of rejecting campaign money from tobacco and oil companies out of respect for the politics of his liberal Los Angeles district.

    “This becomes more than a contribution,” he said. “It becomes who you are willing to associate yourself with.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/02/6601133/california-democrats-accepting.html#storylink=cpy

    • carol2000 says:

      I’ll believe it when I see them REPEAL those smoking bans and reduce the taxes, and not one minute before.

    • beobrigitte says:

      California Democrats accepting more campaign cash from tobacco industry

      It’s about time to level the playing field.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      An intriguing turn of events, no? I guess that with the financial situation being as it is, politicians no longer have the luxury of being able to be choosy about where they get their money from – especially in California which is about as broke as it’s possible to be (strange how that set of circumstances seems to have arisen since they became the first State to enact a smoking ban, but I digress …). And of course, I suspect that it hasn’t escaped the notice of those bean-counters (again!) that whereas tobacco companies have money which they are willing and able to donate, tobacco control actually costs them money – not just in the ever-increasing funding that they are always braying for, but also in the decrease in tobacco-tax revenue that their restrictive policies must necessarily cause. It’s all very well tobacco control “promising” that States will save money on “health costs” 30 years down the line but, even if one believes that to be the case (which I personally don’t), under the present financial circumstances, neither do States have the luxury of being able to wait 30 years to start seeing any financial benefits!

      So, it’s another corner that tobacco control has neatly backed themselves into. No wonder Glantz is getting all hot under the collar. I bet he and his anti-smoking cronies don’t quite know which way to turn. Well, I’ve got some good solid advice for them all – “when you’re in a hole of your own making … stop digging!” Maybe it’s time for them to shut up shop and find another bandwagon to jump on. They must surely now have achieved as much as they’re realistically going to, and I’m sure there’s some great jobs going in the newly-emerging anti-[choose their second-favourite bugbear] arenas, where their expertise in hysteria-raising, bullying and slick manipulation of downright lies would be welcomed with open arms. At least then they’d get off our backs for a change.

      But, like Carol says, I’m not going to get too optimistic about this latest development until we see some bans being actively relaxed or, better still, completely overturned. Time will tell …

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    There was a time when tobacco money was radioactive, but over the years it has become acceptable,” said Jim Knox, vice president of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Yep Stanton Glandz has every reason to be scared. He can see the writing on the walls he aint stupid! Its game over and he knows it!

  8. De Profundis says:

    As smoking becomes a forgotten freedom,we need to remind the current crop of cowards and apathetic chatterers how freedom was earned, Tomorrow ,4th August, we in Britain are “celibrating” the 100 th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1( Yanks will have to hold for 3 years for theirs) For todays generation of wimps and weasels the various freedoms our forebears died for included the small issue of sitting INSIDE a bar with a beer and a smoke.
    Those fighters were a different breed,they had guts,they had spirit,they had no time for chattering health freaks,they would stand up to two bit dictators.but now ,we have a multitude of cagebound
    cackling gibbons,miles of lines of fibre optics on which are perched thousands of wing flapping
    cockatoos,screens heaving with tormented invisible mutants.Twitterdom drowns under nearsilent
    anger and muffled protest. And what of tomorrow if this our best today.

  9. beobrigitte says:

    Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation, said the response to the disease had been “woefully inadequate” and it was “moving faster than our efforts to control it”.
    The Ebola virus has been around for many years; after the last “outbreak” it’s genome was sequenced. Trouble is, it is NOT the strain that is responsible for more than 700 deaths so far.

    On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said it was launching a $100m (£60m) drive to recruit several hundred additional staff to combat the west African crisis.

    I’d rather send the “experts” who are comfortably sat behind a desk at the WHO headquarters.

    Why is there no vaccine?
    http://www.dw.de/scientists-developing-ape-ebola-vaccine-say-human-trials-are-just-a-question-of-cash/a-17654230
    Researchers have developed an Ebola vaccine that protects chimpanzees from the deadly disease – perhaps humans, too. The researchers say there is just one piece of the puzzle missing: money. […]

    […] In 2009, a researcher at the Bernhard Nocht Institute in Hamburg accidentally pricked herself with an Ebola-infected syringe.
    She was treated with a vaccine brought in from the US. The substance unlicensed as it had only been tested on monkeys.
    It consisted of a weakened vesicular stomatitis virus that infects cattle, horses and pigs. It was genetically engineered to contain a portion of an Ebola virus protein.

    And the researcher recovered.

    Ah, money…. These days it is virtually impossible to get money for REAL research, especially when this research does not involve smoking, tobacco and the “suffering” chiiiiiildren.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Medicinal Smoke Reduces Airborne Bacteria – 2007

    “This study represents a comprehensive analysis and scientific validation of our ancient knowledge about the effect of ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care on airborne bacterial composition and dynamics, using the Biolog® microplate panelsand Microlog® database.

    In this study, we have designed an air sampler for microbiological air sampling during the treatment of the room with medicinal smoke. In addition, elimination of the aerial pathogenic bacteria due to the smoke is reported too.

    We have observed that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke emination by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri = material used in oblation to fire all over India) on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 h in the closed room.

    Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonassyringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens inthe open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment.

    We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.
    Work has implications to use the smoke generated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferousand medicinal herbs, within confined spaces such as animal barns and seed/grain warehouses to disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner.
    Work indicates that certain known medicinal constituents from the havan sámagri can thus be added to the burning farm material while disposing unwanted agriculture organic material, in order to reduce plant pathogenicorganisms.

    In particular, it highlights the fact that we must think well beyond the physical aspects of smoke on plants in natural habitats and impacts heavily on our understanding of fire as adriving force in evolution.
    We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to contain diverse pathogenic bacteria of the air we breathe.

    The work also highlights the fact about medicinal smoke and that a lot of natural products have potential for use as medicine in the smoke form as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients for containing indoor airborne infections within confined spaces used for storage of agriculture comodities.

    The dynamic chemical and biological interactions occurring in the atmosphere are much more complex than has been previously realized. The findings warrant a need for further evaluation of various ingredients present in the complex mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs, individually and in various combinations to identify the active principlesinvolved in the bactericidal property of the medicinal smoke, applied in the above discussed fashion.”
    Formerly http: //www.agri-history.org/pdf/Medicinal%20smoke.pdf

    Abstract
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17913417

    Medicinal smokes

    Abstract
    “All through time, humans have used smoke of medicinal plants to cure illness.
    To the best of our knowledge, the ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care have not been studied.
    Mono- and multi-ingredient herbal and non-herbal remedies administered as smoke from 50 countries across the 5 continents are reviewed.

    Most of the 265 plant species of mono-ingredient remedies studied belong to Asteraceae (10.6%), followed by Solanaceae (10.2%), Fabaceae (9.8%) and Apiaceae (5.3%). The most frequent medical indications for medicinal smoke are pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).

    Other uses of smoke are not exactly medical but beneficial to health, and include smoke as a preservative or a repellent and the social use of smoke.

    The three main methods for administering smoke are inhalation, which accounts for 71.5% of the indications; smoke directed at a specific organ or body part, which accounts for 24.5%; ambient smoke (passive smoking), which makes up the remaining 4.0%. Whereas inhalation is typically used in the treatment of pulmonary and neurological disorders and directed smoke in localized situations, such as dermatological and genito-urinary disorders, ambient smoke is not directed at the body at all but used as an air purifier.

    The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body and lower costs of production. This review highlights the fact that not enough is known about medicinal smoke and that a lot of natural products have potential for use as medicine in the smoke form.

    Furthermore, this review argues in favor of medicinal smoke extended use in modern medicine as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17030480

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